Commercial drivers in the state of Mississippi usually need to get a commercial driver’s license (commonly called a “CDL” license). The Mississippi Department of Public Safety handles the task of CDL testing and issuing of driver’s licenses. Applicants who wish to drive trucks or buses for a living must first take and pass a CDL written knowledge test at a Mississippi DPS branch office. They then receive a CDL permit that allows them to train on commercial motor vehicles on Mississippi roads. After getting ample CDL training, applicants then take a hands-on skills and driving test to get a full Mississippi CDL license.
Get a copy of the Mississippi CDL manual online or by visiting a local Mississippi DPS office. The state uses the “Model Commercial Driver License Manual,” which is accessible online at Dps.state.ms.us/dps/dps.nsf/webpageedit/LicenseManuals_DriversLicenseManuals_CDL-ManualPDF/$FILE/CDL Manual.pdf?OpenElement.
Study the CDL manual to prepare for your written knowledge test. You need to pass this test at a DPS office in your area. The CDL test has general portions that apply to all commercial drivers and endorsement portions that apply only to certain drivers. These include HAZMAT, school bus, air brakes, etc. Read the manual to determine which endorsement tests you need to take based on the vehicle you expect to drive. If you are not sure what you will be driving after you get your license, you can just study the entire manual and take all endorsement tests.
Schedule your CDL written test at a local Department of Public Safety office. If you pass, you will receive a Mississippi CDL permit. This instructional permit allows you to train on actual commercial vehicles on the open roads of Mississippi.
Find Mississippi CDL training resources. Several schools, employers and other training programs exist. Some of these are free, while other come at a cost. For example, you can attend a truck driver training school that generally does have tuition or a free passenger-bus training school from Greyhound or other transportation companies. Look at the Professional Truck Driver Institute list of schools with approved programs to explore opportunities for truck-driver training. You can find the list at Ptdi.org/schools/schools.aspx.
There are no Mississippi schools on the list, but you could attend a school in Tennessee or find a Mississippi CDL school that is not certified. However, take care not to to attend a school unless you have a recommendation from a trucker that attended the school.
You can also check with the local Mississippi school district about programs for school bus drivers.
Schedule and take the Mississippi CDL skills test at your local Mississippi DPS. You need to pass this portion of the test to get your full Mississippi CDL license.
The general process is that you must provide your own vehicle for CDL testing. Schools, employers and other training programs may provide this for you. Alternatively, some rental agencies may let you use a vehicle to take the test.
Before taking your knowledge test, you need to get a medical examination. The doctor will give you a medical card if you pass the exam. Ask the local DPS about the process for getting an exam.
HAZMAT endorsement applicants must pass a background check to haul hazardous materials. If you intend to get this endorsement, speak to the DPS as early as possible so you can get the ball rolling on this check.
Mississippi CDL Manual
Certified Truck Driver Training Schools